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Consultative vs Lighthouse Decisions During Crises

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of consultative decision-making. As leaders, we need to listen to our teams and consider their inputs—except during a crisis. In this instance, a lighthouse style for decision-making would be more inefficient.

Consultative Decision-Making

This leadership style requires asking for the thoughts of and solutions from key people. It generally requires lengthy discussions before a decision is made.

Many leaders like to use it because it empowers their people to be involved in the decision-making process for the whole organisation.

As such, it’s effective when the business has the time for such a slow but thorough method.

Lighthouse Decision-Making

During times of crises, rapid-fire decisions are important. Lighthouse management requires leaders to be someone who has a strong foundation that can:

  • stand strong against the test of time,

  • weather all sorts of crisis,

  • be a beacon of light that will guide the people to safety, and,

  • remain resilient against the storm, turmoil and waves crashing around it.

Clarity is at the core of this style.

You are clear on what’s in your circle of control, what’s beyond your circle of influence and where the gaps are. Your focus is on what you need to be doing next so you can move your business forward for the sake of your staff and customers.

You also know what tools you need to equip yourself with or who you need to surround yourself with to be the lighthouse of your whole organisation.

Leaders using this style know how to demonstrate resilience and vulnerability. You aren’t afraid to show your vulnerability and ask for help when you need it.

This includes self-care. Do you need to spend a few minutes of meditation or walk around the block to refocus your mental health? You can’t help anyone if you’re not looking after yourself.


Who do you need to support when the cracks are starting to show? Brendon Burchard identifies six high-performance habits and talks about who leaders need to be and who needs them in their A-game.

Consultative and lighthouse leadership use different strategies and can be applied to different situations.

Do you use one or both of these styles? When do you use them? Share your thoughts with me and let’s have a courageous discussion about it.


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